Resto 85 PvE healing guide (v. 4.1)

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Version 4.2 is in a new thread, which can be found here:

NOTE: This guide is also available (in slightly better format) on my blog:

[/u]Version: 4.1, level 85 cataclysm[/u] (4/26/2011)

How to heal as an 85 restoration druid in Cataclysm.

Introduction to druid healing, written at a beginner/intermediate level. The talent section has undergone significant revisions, due to the changes in talent tree design for 4.1. In most cases, variability in terms what content you are healing will make a difference in what strategies, talents, & gear work best for you. There isn't a "one size fits all" approach, and so you will frequently find (especially for more advanced players) that the guide is not able to cover every possible permutation of healing style, raid size, ilevel, etc.

The major changes for 4.1 come in terms of changes to our talents:

    Living seed was unlinked from Efflorsescence, allowing you to move those 3 points wherever you want.
    Tranquility’s cooldown was reduced through Malfurion’s Gift.
    Efflorescence’s healing effect got changed so that now it’s a smart heal that scales with haste. It will target the lowest 3 players and heal them for a decent sized chunk of health. This is a much better design and should heal for more overall than the old version.

Table of contents:

1. healing part 1: Description of Healing spells
2. Healing part 2: Mastery, tree form, and other spells
3. Healing part 3: Tank and raid healing advice
4. Resto: Talents
5. Resto: Glyphs
6. Resto: Stats and Gearing
7. Consumables, Gems, and Enchants

Other Helpful resources:

Hamlet of EJ has an updated guide for level 85 resto druids:

Keeva’s VERY comprehensive Healing Guide outgrew her blog, and is now it’s own website here:

More advice for 5-man dungeon healing:

Revital's level 85 instance healing advice on the forums:
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Another post on healing heroics at level 85:
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Part 1: Description of Healing tools at 85 – Getting to know your spells.(Updated 4/26/2011)

Single-target Direct Heals:

There is now a "trinity" of 3 direct heals for all classes. Our "fast" heal is regrowth. Our "efficient" heal is Nourish. Our "Big" heal is Healing touch.

*Healing Touch (2.5 sec cast time after Naturalist, mana expensive). Heals for a large amount, but has a high mana cost, and a semi-long cast time. You can use this to refresh Lifebloom on your target (with talents). Use this when you need a big heal on a tank or raid/party member, since health pools are big and damage comes slowly. This spell will feel slow, but may be the only way to keep people from dieing when they drop low. This is a good spell to use when you have an Omen of Clarity proc, since this gives you a mana-free big heal.

* Nourish (2.5 sec cast time after naturalist, mana efficient). Cast time is the same as Healing Touch. However, it costs less mana and heals for less than HT, which is our “efficient” heal at level 85 when we have mana problems. Empowered Touch allows nourish to refresh lifebloom on that target. Try to only cast this on people with at least one Heal over Time effect (ie. a rejuv, LB, regrowth, or wild growth HOT), due to the fact that nourish has 20+ increased healing done (plus the mastery bonus). This is kind of a “filler” heal, that you would use on people higher on health who aren’t likely to die soon, and it’s what you do to conserve mana so that you won’t run OOM before the end of the fight.

* Regrowth (1.5 sec cast time). Heals for a medium amount and is now our “flash” heal instead of nourish. The HOT duration was reduced to 6 seconds to allow the direct heal to hit harder. Use when you can afford the mana and need a fast heal (but don’t spam or you will run OOM when you first hit 85). Save it as an emergency “oh crap” spell when you need a fast direct heal, or when you are in tree form and get OOC procs for mana-free instant regrowths.

Single-target HOTs:

* Lifebloom (instant) is your tank HOT. You can only have LB on ONE person at a time (unless you are in tree form). If you move it to a new target, it doesn't force the bloom, it just ends on the first target. You can either use nourish/HT/Regrowth to refresh LB, or just re-cast LB to refresh if it's about to run out. You should keep a 3-stack of LB rolling on the tank because keeping up LB will help you not run OOM as fast, and LB will make up a big chunk of your healing in parties/raids. While in tree form, sprinkle this around raid members to try and get more OOC procs.

* Rejuvenation (instant) will still be a primary healing spell for you as a raid heal. You should still see a lot of rejuv use in raids, since they didn’t actually give us an alternative to relying on rejuv/Wild Growth for the bulk of your raid healing. So, you just have to be smart about how you use rejuv (ie. put it on people who have a wild growth already on them, or put it on people taking damage already, etc). Rejuv also has a chance to give you the mana return from revitalize, and gets the instant heal from gift of the earth mother. Rejuv works best on lightly wounded targets who are already taking damage, since putting it on people at 100% health (unless it’s a tank) is usually a waste of mana.

Multi-target AOE heals:

* Swiftmend (instant, 15 sec cooldown) with Efflorescence procs thru talents is a good raid heal after 4.1. Swiftmend still requires a rejuv or regrowth, but it heals the same amount regardless of which HOT you consume. Swiftmend puts a medium-size direct heal on the target, and then efflorescence will sprout an 8 yard circle around that target (when talented). People standing in that circle gets healed for up to 7 seconds. Moving out of the circle stops healing. They re-designed efflorescence for 4.1, and made it even better than it was before.

* Wild Growth (instant, 8 sec cooldown) is still a “smart” heal that hits multiple targets to heal over time, and a great AOE healing tool. Be careful that this doesn’t sponge up too much mana, but use this often as an AOE heal when you are assigned to raid healing.

* Tranquility (channeled over 7 sec, 3 min cooldown talented) – Heals 5 low-health party & raid members (ie. no longer limited to people in your group). It has a big direct heal that hits about every 2 seconds (lowered by haste), and also applies a HOT that stacks up to 3 times that lasts for the duration. So, those 5 people are unlikely to die while you are channeling. Use this as your emergency AOE heal, and plan in advance which phases to use it. Cooldown lowered in 4.1 (by Malfurion's Gift talented) so you can use it more often.
Part 2: Mastery, tree form, and other spells (updated 4/26/2011 for 85)

Mastery is a bonus you get for choosing restoration as your talent spec focus (at level 80). Mastery is also a stat on high-level (85) gear.

Symbiosis is our current mastery which is: "Symbiosis (Revamped) – Increases the potency of your healing spells by 11.6% on targets already affected by one of your heal over time spells. Each point of Mastery increases heal potency by an additional 1.45%."

    Some mastery use examples:
    • If you cast a single rejuv on someone (no HOTs), you don’t benefit from the mastery.
    • If you cast rejuv on someone who already has a wild growth or regrowth HOT on them, that rejuv heal benefits from the mastery.
    • If you cast nourish, HT, or regrowth on the tank with a lifebloom on them, you get the bonus from the mastery.
    • Basically, if you have any of your HOTs on a target, your heals on that target (whether HOT or direct heal) get a bonus.
    • Swiftmend/efflorescence will always benefit from the mastery due to requiring a HOT for swiftmend to be cast.
    • This will turn into a really nice tank healing bonus, and how much it helps you in AOE/raid healing will be determined by how you heal.

Tree form:
Tree form (instant) is now a 3 minute cooldown, with a 25 second duration (up to 31 seconds with talents). Pop this at times when you need to heal for more (as it gives you a 6% increase to healing to all your spells). When you go into tree form, a couple of your spells get benefits for the duration of that 30 second effect.

The tree bonuses most relevant to healing at 85 are:
    • Regrowth becomes instant cast, which means you can cast it on the move. The 4.0.6 buffs to regrowth healing done (thru talents) increases the usefulness of this bonus. Use this as an emergency tank heal when you are in tree form (especially when OOC procs).
    • Lifebloom can be put on more than one target (the most interesting of all of them). This allows you to brieftly use it to stack with other HOTs on raid members for increased healing output. Or, you can stack it up on a 2nd tank when times are tough.
    • Wild Growth will hit up to 2 more targets (most useful in a 25-man setting)
    • It also gives a bonus to wrath & roots for PvP/soloing.

Other abilities for resto druids:
Remove corruption: allows you to remove 1 magic (if talented), curse, and poison effect. All of our dispels are in this one button.

Mark of the Wild: Now raid-wide and gift of the wild was removed. Does not cost a reagent. Same buff as Paladin's Kings.

Innervate: Now causes the target to regen 20% of the caster's mana (ie. if you cast it on a priest, they regen mana up to 20% of your mana pool). This change prevents it from being very potent for feral druids.

Thorns: Lasts for 20 seconds and has a 45 second cooldown.

Nature's Swiftness: You can still macro this to Healing Touch for another instant burst tool. This talent is optional, but it got somewhat buffed in 4.1 so more druids may pick it up.

Rebirth: In-combat resurrection. Cooldown is 10 minutes, but the raid group can only res 1 person per fight in 10-mans, or up to 3 reses per fight in 25-mans. Warlock & DK's in-combat res abilities count towards this total. You should use the rebirth glyph so that the person will res at full health (making your res not ever get wasted when you use it).
3. Tank and raid healing advice (updated 4/26/2011)

Basic Healing Information for level 85:
• At level 85, there are multiple healing roles possible: 5-mans, 10-man tank, 10-man raid, 25-man tank, and 25-man raid. The encounters also come in the forms of normals and hard modes. The below advice is really general “beginner” info, and you will have to work to adapt it to what best fits your raid/party’s needs.

• Our direct heals are still important, but my #1 spell used in any of the above roles is still rejuv. That said, rejuv never accounts for 100% of my healing, since your other spells (all of them!) are still important in their own way.

• One big mistake I see trees doing is continuing to use Regrowth in places where they should be using Healing Touch or Nourish. Healing Touch and Nourish are generally better tools for us, and Regrowth should be used less frequently (Chimaeron is probably the only fight where you would rely mostly on regrowth). You also don’t need to maintain a regrowth HOT on your tank anymore, since the regrowth HOT is so very small.

• You will use swiftmend for Efflorescence procs as an AOE heal (now a mandatory talent after the 4.1 buff). In addition, lifebloom should be on one target at all times (even when assigned to raid healing).

Tank healing at 85:
• Put a 3 stack of lifebloom on the tank you are assigned to, and don't let it fall off. Nourish, Healing Touch, and regrowth will refresh LB's duration if you have empowered touch. With more than 1 druid, assign each druid to put LB on a different tank if you have multiple tanks in an encounter.

• Put rejuv on all the tanks & refresh as needed (you may want to put rejuv on 3 people for the Nourish haste bonus from Nature's Bounty). Use a mix of direct heals as you find best suits the encounter and your group's needs: HT when big damage, Nourish when little damage, Regrowth as an emergency spot-heal. You can still swiftmend the tank, because if he's standing still, he'll still benefit from the large burst heal and your (improved in 4.1) efflorescence proc (and if melee are close, efflorescence will hit them, too). You can also use swiftmend & Wild Growth to help out your raid with AOE healing even as a tank healer.

• Healing Touch is one spell you neglected at 80 that you need to consciously use more at 85. It is your highest "heals per second", and is slightly more mana efficient than regrowth, so you need to add this into your healing on tanks. When tanks are below 50% health, but not in immediate danger of getting 1-shot, this spell has a higher chance than regrowth of actually making a dent and getting them out of the danger zone.

• Use Nourish when you need a mana efficient heal (to conserve your mana resources and reduce over-healing) during times where your tank isn't taking that much damage. Try to use Nourish on tanks that already have a HOT on them. Regrowth is an emergency heal that shouldn't be spammed.

HOT tanks, then heal raid:
• Roll 3x lifebloom on a single tank.
• Put rejuv on all the tanks.
• Use your AOE heals on the raid: wild growth and swiftmend (for efflorescence procs).
• Use rejuvenation on light to medium-wounded targets (not at full health)

• Use direct heals to supplement HOTs as needed (especially on targets with a HOT on them, or below 50% HP). You will likely end up needing to use Nourish some to conserve mana resources to not run OOM. If you have 3 rejuvs up, your nourish gets a haste bonus from Nature's Bounty in 4.0.6. You may also need to use Regrowth & HT for bigger direct heals to prevent deaths. You’ll have to play around with your spells a little bit to find what will work the best for you.
• Tranquility is also nice to use now because it effects people outside your group, and at a 3 minute cooldown, you should get ~2 uses per boss fight (cooldown reduced in 4.1).

Just raid heal: See section on HOT tanks, then raid heal.
• See section on HOT tanks, then raid heal. Even as a raid healer, I still think that maintaining LB on your tank will be worthwhile. Raid healing has devolved back into a more WG/Rejuv-heavy style.

• However, the best way to use your tools is to try and maximize their healing done by: Putting rejuvs on people already effected by wild growth (and vice-versa), and by using rejuv as a triage-tool (ie. never on people at full health). In 10-mans, you will probably use more single-target direct heals on people with a HOT to try and bring them up.

• Efflorescence got changed such that it chooses 3 people and gives them a more substantially sized heal. This means that it will be more useful in any size raid, since it will be a "smart" heal, and you get a benefit even when 1 or 2 people are standing in it. Combined with tranquility's lower cooldown, we have a much better AOE raid toolset.
Part 4. Talents version 4.1 (updated 4/26/2011)

Trying to write about talent specs is actually pretty difficult, because you have some choice in where you want to put ~4 talent points, and none of those options are very strong talents. The talent choices for 4.2 are basically the same as 4.1, without much changing to the talents themselves.

For a standard 8/2/31 build, your base could look like this Template talent spec:

Then, you have the option to move points out of living seed (and possibly nature's swiftness) to take any combination of talent points you want:

• Living Seed (some people may still keep points here, but I don’t plan on keeping it)
• Blessing of the Grove (people who raid heal a lot with rejuv will benefit more from this talent than living seed, but it’s still going to have a minor impact on healing at best)
• Nature’s Swiftness (This is still unappealing to me. Swiftmend, with efflorescence procs, will do more for me than NS).
• Perserverence (Decreasing the damage you take increases the probability that you will live, and while it doesn’t inflate meter numbers, dead healers can’t heal)
• Fury of the Storm Rage (not recommended for PvE raiding specs)
• Nature's Bounty (increases the crit rate of regrowth, and makes nourish faster when you have 3 rejuvs up).

Genesis Vs Moonglow:
Some people are also moving to try and pick up Genesis from resto, due to being geared enough that they don't need to invest as many points in resto talents. In this case, they would shift points out of moonglow/Furor and into genesis.

A HOT-focused build
(with genesis) for more AOE/raid healing could look like this:

A more mana-focused build, designed to do some tank healing:

Living seed replacement calculator
(to help you decide which talents would be better for you):
5. Resto Glyphs 4.0.1
Resto Prime Glyphs (Use swiftmend, rejuv, lifebloom):
* Swiftmend -when you use swiftmend, it won’t consume the HOT.
* Rejuvenation – increases rejuv’s healing done
* Lifebloom – increases LB’s HOT crit chance
* regrowth – This got buffed in 4.0.6, but it's still not better than the other 3 glyphs. It does have limited situational uses, but the other 3 make a much better multi-purpose set.

For resto major glyphs,
You really get to choose what will be the most helpful for you. I would recommend that you choose Wild Growth, Rebirth, & 1 other:
* Wild Growth – WG will hit 1 more person. Very helpful for 25-man raiding.
* Rebirth – Your target will res at full health & mana. This becomes really useful compared to other options so your target doesn’t die as soon as they pop up.
* Healing touch – the effect was changed (will no longer turn HT into a flash heal). Not that useful for level 80, but may increase in usefulness at 85.
* Innervate – Will be more useful at 85 when we have mana problems

Minor glyphs (get MOTW, & unburdened rebirth, and then pick whatever you want for the third):
* Glyph of the treant (minor) – changes the appearance of your tree form back into the dead broccoli old form, instead of the larger and newer “ancient of war” form. I’d actually glyph tree form for PvP to make the model smaller & less obvious.
* Mark of the wild (minor) – reduces cost now that MotW is raid-wide without a reagent
* Unburdened rebirth (Minor) – Rebirth doesn't cost a reagent (it sucks when you run out of seeds).
* Aquatic form (minor) -Increases swim speed by 50%
* Dash – (minor) reduces dash cooldown
6. Stats & Gear (updated 2/8/2011)

Resto stats:

Here is a link to my level 85 Pre-raid gear list:

Basic Resto stat priority: Int > Spirit > Haste > Mastery > Crit

The value of mastery relative to haste changes depending on a number of factors I won't cover here. Please refer to:

You can use the Tree Calcs tool for evaluating the value of stats for YOU on your gear.

Stat descriptions:
• Stamina – Base stat (primary stats can’t be reforged) – increases your health. This will be on all your gear, but it’s not super important.

• Int – Base stat (primary stats can’t be reforged) – Now gives spell power, increases the size of your mana pool, and gives crit chance. This is your primary stat on gear, and you will want to choose gems with int on them now. In addition, you get mana regen from int through your talents.

• Spirit – (secondary stat can be reforged) – Increases your mana regen. When you choose the resto talent tree, you gain more passive regen from spirit while "in combat". Int actually provides about as much regen in-combat as spirit for resto druids (however, when you can have both int & spirit, that's even better).

• Haste- (can be reforged) – Makes your cast time spells (ie. regrowth, HT, nourish) cast faster. Also makes the time between the ticks of your HOTs faster (You will gain additional HOT ticks with enough haste), and lowers the global cooldown (up to the 1 second). SEE:

• Crit- (can be reforged) – Your direct heals and HOTs can all score critical strikes now. This is probably our weakest stat at the moment, but you get more benefit from crit now than you did in WotLK.

• Mastery – (Can be reforged) – See section 2 for detailed information on what mastery does. Basically, mastery makes your heals hit for more when you cast a spell on someone that already has a HOT. The value of mastery will be determined by how much you heal someone with a HOT on them versus how much you heal people that don’t have a HOT on them already. However, this stat did get buffed in 4.0.6.

• Spell power (can’t be reforged) – At 85, this stat is mostly only available on weapons, and maybe a few outdated enchants.

You can turn up to 40% of a secondary stat into 40% another secondary stat. You can only reforge a stat into something that is not already on the item. If spirit is not on the item and you need more regen, then reforge the least desirable stat into spirit. In general, you want to reforge crit into a different stat, since crit is our worst stat, so I frequently reforge crit into spirit.

Relics & Idols:
They are not class-specific at 85, and you will want any type of caster relic with good stats and higher item levels. You will want the highest item level idol with intellect (with spirit and/or haste) on it. Relics have a gem slot, but they don't give socket bonuses (so gem it with red intellect).
7. gems, enchants, consumables for level 85 (Updated 2/8/2011)

The blog version is better for this section, since it has clicky-links:

Gems :

* For red gem slots, Brilliant inferno Ruby gives you increased intellect
* For yellow gem slots, Reckless ember topaz is int/haste (or Artful ember topaz for int/mastery if you are gearing for mastery).
* For blue gem slots, Purified Demonseye gives int/spirit.
* Meta-gem (for head pieces): Ember shadowspirit diamond (54 int and 2% mana). Requires at least 2 yellow gems.

Consumables :


• Flask of the draconic mind (intellect):

Int ends up having more bang for its buck compared to spirit for resto druids. So, I only use & recommend the intellect flask at this point for everyone.


* Mythical Mana potion
* Potion of Concentration
* Mighty rejuvenation potion

While the potion of concentration puts you to sleep for 10 sec, sometimes that will be worth it (ie. magmaw when the head is pinned). You can communicate for party members, and time it when the healing needs and fight mechanics allow you to be "asleep" for 10 sec. If you can't use that one in a fight, the mythical mana potion will restore about half the mana of a potion of concentration, but with no side-effects. If you need to restore both health & mana, then a good choice is the mighty rejuv potion.

Gear Enchants: (IMPORTANT: when 2 enchants are listed, the first is better – and the second one available mostly as a backup if you can’t get access to the first)

* Legs: Powerful Ghostly Spellthread (95 int, 55 spi) or the lower-tier version Ghostly spellthread (55 int, 45 spi)
* Shoulders: Greater inscription of charged lodestone (Therazane rep)
* Head: Arcanum of Hyjal (Hyjal rep)
* Cloak: Greater intellect
* Gloves: Haste
* Chest: Peerless Stats (all stats x 20), +15 stats, or Exceptional Spirit (40 spirit)
* Bracer: Exceptional Spirit: or greater speed (haste):
* Boots: Lava Walker, Earthen vitality, or Haste
* Weapon: Power Torrent (random proc for 500 int for 12 sec) or Heartsong (random proc for 200 spirit)
<reserved for expansion in Cataclysm>

For some reason, the posts on this forum don't allow as many characters as the other WOW forums, so I had to shrink a couple posts to make them fit.


You can now post!
Of course reported for sticky :D
Just some things I've noticed while reading...

Thorns: I don't think thorns on a tank counts as your threat. When I cast it on a tank, I don't get threat and thorns is counted as their damage done, not mine. I find it to be a very good tool to help tanks with initial threat.

Rebirth: The cooldown is being decreased again, but only one rezz will be useable per encounter in a raid system.
For rebirth - I'm going with what it currently is. At this point, I've just copied & pasted my original guide from the other WoW forums.
I just saw you added other notes for level 85. I wasn't sure if you wanted to give new druids a heads up that it will be changing.
I'll be re-writing the whole thing at the beginning of December anyway. :)

I also can't edit any of the posts or I lose all the formatting and all my symbols turn into strange A's like how all the posts in my leveling guide broke.... I'll go in and update things once they fix that awful bug...
Thank you for the guide, it's very helpful.
Does it just seem wrong that Tree of Life, the talent that is really supposed to be a defining feature of Resto Druids simply can't be put in the mandatory list? I'm even almost afraid that with the cool down I'll forget I even have it at times.
Does it just seem wrong that Tree of Life, the talent that is really supposed to be a defining feature of Resto Druids simply can't be put in the mandatory list? I'm even almost afraid that with the cool down I'll forget I even have it at times.

Tree of life will move to the "mandatory" list for 4.0.3 when we're leveling up to 85.

first forum waffle!

/frames & hangs on wall

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